Offshore Wind Power Could Produce More Electricity Than World Uses, says International Energy Agency
By Eoin Higgins
A new report from the International Energy Agency released Friday claims that wind power could be a $1 trillion business by 2040 and that the power provided by the green technology has the potential to outstrip global energy needs.
Talk about a breath of fresh air https://t.co/r2a0bvMXBc— Steven E. de Souza (@Steven E. de Souza)1571985817.0
The IEA report looks at the business of wind power and opines that as investment increases and the technology becomes cheaper, the sector could explode.
The IEA finds that global offshore wind capacity may increase 15-fold and attract around $1 trillion of cumulative investment by 2040. This is driven by falling costs, supportive government policies and some remarkable technological progress, such as larger turbines and floating foundations. That's just the start—the IEA report finds that offshore wind technology has the potential to grow far more strongly with stepped-up support from policy makers.
"Offshore wind currently provides just 0.3% of global power generation, but its potential is vast," said IEA executive director Fatih Birol.
It would take a major infrastructural commitment to develop wind power to the point that the renewable energy resource could take over the majority of global energy needs, but it's not impossible. As The Guardian pointed out Friday, "if windfarms were built across all useable sites which are no further than 60km (37 miles) off the coast, and where coastal waters are no deeper than 60 metres, they could generate 36,000 terawatt hours of renewable electricity a year."
"This would easily meeting the current global demand for electricity of 23,000 terawatt hours," added The Guardian.
Such a change in worldwide energy demand would require a massive investment of "public pressure, business leadership, and political leadership," green group Friends of the Earth said on Twitter.
350 Action founder Bill McKibben saw no need to wait.
"Wind turbines in the shallow parts of the planet's oceans can provide more electricity than the planet uses," McKibben tweeted. "So let's get going!"
Wind turbines in the shallow parts of the planet's oceans can provide more electricity than the planet uses. So let… https://t.co/3SmKcCGKPs— Bill McKibben (@Bill McKibben)1571995181.0
Reposted with permission from our media partner Common Dreams.
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By Julián García Walther
One morning in January, I found myself 30 feet up a tall metal pole, carrying 66 pounds of aluminum antennas and thick weatherproofed cabling. From this vantage point, I could clearly see the entire Punta Banda Estuary in northwestern Mexico. As I looked through my binoculars, I observed the estuary's sandy bar and extensive mudflats packed with thousands of migratory shorebirds frenetically pecking the mud for food.
There are currently few Motus stations in Mexico, leading to a large information gap. Julián García Walther / CC BY-ND
Red knots and many other shorebirds travel thousands of miles from breeding grounds in the Arctic (left) to nonbreeding grounds in Latin America (right). Julián García Walther / CC BY-ND
Motus stations require a high vantage point that overlooks estuaries. Julián García Walther / CC BY-ND
Any bird with a transmitter will be picked up if it flies within 12 miles (20 kilometers) of a Motus station. Julián García Walther / CC BY-ND<h2>Tagging Birds</h2><p>The stations alone can't detect these animals. The final step, which will happen in the coming months, is to catch birds and tag them. To do this, our team will set up a soft, spring-loaded net called a whoosh net in sandy areas where the red knots rest above the high-tide line. When birds walk past the net, the crew leader will release the trigger, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwMiA2iqVc0" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">safely trapping the birds with the net</a>.</p>
WhooshNetCapture.MTS<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="6440038cdc58961906f5fa164b457688"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/vwMiA2iqVc0?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
The world's oceans and coastal ecosystems can store remarkable amounts of carbon dioxide. But if they're damaged, they can also release massive amounts of emissions back into the atmosphere.